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Things I've Found 54 (While France Burns...What Part of "Multi" and "Culture" Don't the Muslims Understand?—11/3/2005

by Mark Rose

Oh, I know this might piss people off but I don't care any more. First it was Salman Rushdie whose career was derailed on the altar of free speech, then Theo van Gogh who died for his art, and now France burns in the sixth day of riots because one religion can’t seem to get along with the rest. And yet we have Prince Charles lecturing us on how we need to be more sensitive. Sorry, Charlie. Being super-sensitive and nice isn’t working. And people die. If you believe in multiculturalism, you have to believe in and stand for your own culture too. We will see more of this in Europe and it’s not going to be pretty.

Two insane sporting facts that you need to know:

Overheard on espnradio.com’s Dan Patrick Show with the much-missed Keith Olbermann. Every year, Topps produces a large set of baseball cards that numbers well into the hundreds. There’s a man at Topps Co. whose job is to assign each player to a particular numbered card. This is his job. He is also a Yankees fan. For the last five years, he has assigned the card number 666 to the player who has done the most damage to the Yankees in the postseason. This year, it will be Francisco Rodriguez though Keith thought it should be Erwin Santana. Now you know.

The Arkansas State basketball head coach is named Dickey Nutt.

San Francisco done all in jello. And it’s beautiful! http://www.lizhickok.com/assets/portfolio/pages/01city.html. Check out the basic site: http://www.lizhickok.com/portfolio2.html

Weird Search Engine, Part 95: Alright, you know I always give you these weird new search engines. How about Woogle? Woogle searches through websites and finds images based on the text that you enter. It’s a little different from Google’s Image Search. One good way to find out the difference is to type "Frank Ryan" into the Google image search (he was the 1964 Cleveland Browns championship quarterback, in case you give a shit) and then do it in Woogle. Slightly different results, no? Here’s the Woogle address: http://www.gujian.net/woogle/index.php. Give it a shot. See what "miniature golf" produces. Or your own name.

Al Roker takes on Wilma, and loses. http://gorillamask.net/rokerfalls.shtml. I love the TV host calling into question Mr. Roker’s intelligence.

I LOVED ElectraWoman and DynaGirl. But who didn’t? Maybe you were into Holly from the old Saturday morning TV show "Land of the Lost." She’s a hottie, trust me. This article takes a look at all your favorite "Saturday Morning Babes" and checks out where they’ve gone. http://www.yesbutnobutyes.com/archives/2005/10/where_are_they_14.html For those you who don’t remember, Yvonne Craig was Da Bomb. Absofreakinlutely.

Can you think of the top 40 magazine covers of all time? The American Society of Magazine Editors came up with theirs: http://nile.doceus.com/editorial/top40covers.htm. I think the order is a little skewed but some of the choices are just out and out nuts. Note how many rely solely on text effects to get their point across. Some are still stunning even after many years. #1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 10 are all great. Can you believe the dog being shot on the cover of National Lampoon is 32 years old? Classic image. #14, 16, 22 and 23 are pretty forgettable and don’t seem to rank up there with the rest (if you want a cover of Bush morphing into Alfred E. Neuman there are better examples than The Nation). I don’t get #27’s inclusion at all. Put any naked girl on the cover of Rolling Stone and you’ll have a top 20 cover. And #29 and all the #37's just look like any other cover ever printed. Yawn. Discuss.

In the spirit of the 40 best magazine covers, here’s Time Magazine’s list of the best 100 books of all time: http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/the_complete_list.html. Note that Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace is on the list. While it’s technically brilliant, it sucks as an actual real novel. Unless you want to call its experimental stance as a ground-breaking effort to break the novelistic mold. Which I don’t. Because if you really want to talk about ground-breaking novels that are truly great literature, you’re going to have to talk about Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy or Cervantes’ Don Quixote, NEITHER of which make the list. Inexcusable. Some of the choices are to be expected like Philip Roth and George Orwell, some are well-chosen like Pynchon’s smooth The Crying of Lot 49 or Raymond Chandler and William Gaddis, some are just plain nuts like Jonathan Franzen for The Corrections or Margaret Mitchell for Gone with the Wind. Argument fuel for the literary-minded.

Hell really must be freezing over. Now, I’m posting a positive link to the LA Times. It’s Seattle’s very own forgotten police chief, Norm Stamper, explaining his position on why responsible drug use should be legalized: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-legalize16oct16,0,4914395.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions. It’s well written, too. Meaning that it was probably published elsewhere before the Times got a hold of it. Stamper’s pull quote: "...our draconian approach to drug use is the most injurious domestic policy since slavery." The one thing I don’t get is how he believes legalization will decrease drug-related crimes like robbery in order to pay for one’s habit. If anything, it seems those crimes would increase. But it would decrease the number of non-violent offenders in prisons today which would be a good thing for the country’s economy and productivity. Perhaps.

I love America’s Funniest Home Videos, and all of those reality video shows. Here’s a great compilation of some of the most bizarre footage you’ll ever see. Worth it even though you have to listen to someone like Godsmack deliver the musical accompaniment: http://www.smithappens.com/video_ownedcompilation.php

Which Famous Historic General Are You? These online tests are usually sophomoric, but this 32-question one is quite detailed and specific. It really makes you think about tactical warfare: http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=13827291814577368116
or: http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take. By the way, I ended up being Julius Ceasar (50 Wisdom, 62 Tactics, 53 Guts, 44 Ruthlessness – I seem barely above the midline!).

US Senate accuses UK Respect Party MP George Galloway of at least five felonies relating to his taking money from Saddam Hussein: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1841396,00.html. This doesn’t surprise me because I’ve been following Galloway for a while. He’s an evil little monkey who is very good about fighting and screaming and claiming innocence. And basically, he was more than happy to let Hussein’s murderous little regime continue. Despicable. And don’t get me started on the UN and Kofi Annan.

Well on that neoconnish note, we should just admit the truism that Europe is insane. They have now stated that "feta" is a protected designation of origin for Greece, meaning that feta cheese made in any other country cannot be called feta cheese. How about that? Even though the word "feta" derives from the Italian "fetta." Even though feta cheese has been made in countries outside of Greece for well over 400 years. Nope, it doesn’t matter. You can’t call it feta any more. Think I’m kidding? Read this: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/a01bdebe-4571-11da-981b-00000e2511c8.html. Idiots.

Too Late for Halloween...This Year!http://www.bkmasks.com/ -- Buy the Burger King mask; sold out at the moment but save for future reference.

France Is Our Enemy, Part One: http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/19/wniger19.xml. This article indicates that an Italian intelligence operative, nicknamed "Giacomo," has reported that he was in the pay of France when distributing fake Iraqi documents indicating they were hoping to buy yellowcake from Niger. The reason? According to the article, "France was trying to 'set up' Britain and America in the hope that when the mistake was revealed it would undermine the case for war, which it wanted to prevent." Note that this link is not from Drudge or the vast right-wing conspiracy, it’s from the UK’s Telegraph newspaper. Let’s see how fast the New York Times gets on this story.

France Is Our Enemy, Part Deux: http://www.qando.net/Details.aspx?Entry=2805. Remember the aluminum tubes Colin Powell presented to the UN indicating that these were proof positive that Iraq was involved in nuclear weapons? Know who told us that? Yep, the French! There’s a lot of interesting stuff at the link all relating to Lawrence Wilkerson.

Sadly, Mr. Floatie had to withdraw from the Mayor’s race in Victoria, British Columbia. http://www.wftv.com/news/5131268/detail.html. Perhaps Mr. Floatie would like to run for Washington State Senator. He would certainly do a better job than our own big piece of poop, Senator Patty Murray.

The Alienate Your Readers Corner: Remember what Edward R. Murrow once said: "Everyone is a prisoner of his own experience. No one can eliminate prejudices – just recognize them"? Bias is inherent in news reporting because it’s impossible to eliminate, whether you’re reporting for ABC, CNN or Fox News. Plus, news organizations want to show negative news because positive news doesn’t sell. And that’s what it’s really all about. Don’t believe me? You might want to read this: http://www.mrc.org/SpecialReports/2005/sum/sum101405.asp

Sorry to put up so many downer links this time, but those really are the Things I've Found in my latest trawl. At least they're worth a click or two. Until next time, keep thinking the good thoughts and keep wishing Rona Barrett well.